KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan used second half goals by sophomore Jason Grant and senior Shane Lyons to come from behind to defeat Hartwick, 2-1, on senior day Sunday. The game was played at Kalamazoo College's MacKenzie Field.
Marc Russell gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute, beating his defender for a breakaway through the middle and finishing low left. Tim Crawford and Russell Oost-Lievense each picked up an assist.
The Broncos trailed until the 65th minute when Grant evened the count scoring off a corner kick. Grant took the corner from the left side and struck it off a defender into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
Western Michigan's second goal came off a penalty kick by Lyons in the 75th minute. Lyons was pressuring Hartwick keeper Tom Buckner for a loose ball, forcing Buckner to come off his line. Lyons got a foot on the ball to push it past Buckner and Bronco sophomore Sean Hazen was running on hard from the right before he was brought to the ground, resulting in the whistle for the PK. Lyons sent his shot to the low to the right of Buckner.
Lyons' goal was his team-leading eighth of the season, and it was his fourth consecutive game with a goal. Lyons has scored all eight of his goals in the last nine games and recorded at least one point in all nine games, tallying an assist in the game he did not score. Lyons' goal was also the 21st of his career, tying him for sixth most in program history, and his eighth career game-winner, second most in school history, behind Tom Oatley's record of nine.
The win improved Western Michigan to 10-4-2 on the season, marking the second time in four years the Broncos have reached 10 wins under head coach Stu Riddle. WMU also had wins in 2010. The Broncos have only reached 10 wins on one other occasion in the last 10 years, during the 2003 MAC Tournament Championship season when the team finished 12-7-2.
An important Mid-American Conference win, the Broncos upped their MAC record to 2-1-1, keeping WMU in the hunt for one of four spots in the upcoming conference tournament. Hartwick fell to 4-8-2, 1-3-0 MAC.
"I thought we were excellent today and played some of the most attractive soccer I have seen in my time here," Riddle said. "The boys kept believing that we would find the goals we needed to win the game and I am very proud of them all. The seniors were absolutely fantastic today and I'm very pleased we were able to get them a win on senior day."
Western Michigan led Hartwick, 20-11, on shots, seven to three on goal, and in corner kicks, 8-4. The Broncos did have to weather high intensity from Hartwick in the final 10 minutes as the Hawks attempted to find an equalizer. WMU junior goalkeeper Sean Lewis made two saves.
Prior to the game, WMU recognized its five seniors, Lyons, Yllson Asani, Darren Jones, Luis Lemus and Cody Camp. A former goalkeeper, Camp has worked as an assistant coach the last years after his career was cut short by injury.
The Broncos have three games left on their regular season schedule, on the road at Buffalo Oct. 26, at home against Northern Illinois Oct. 30 and on the road at Akron Nov. 3.
Story courtesy of Western Michigan Sports Information.